I could also see the usual crowd gathering. A second ambulance turned into the street behind me. This one did not have lights flashing or the siren on. I waited until it had passed me and then turned around. I made my way home by a different route.
Later someone asked me what had happened there. I said I did not know.
"But, didn't you go and look?"
No, I did not go and look. I saw no reason to go and look. I had no desire to look. It is not the sort of thing I want to look at.
My reaction has always been the same with accidents. If other people are handling the situation and I can do nothing to help then I move on. It is not my business and I believe I should get out of the way and stay out of the way.
Clearly other people feel differently.
It made me wonder about something else though. Recently, there have been several very nasty racist incidents on public transport. Some of them have been reported in the media - even filmed on mobile devices and put up for all to see. People have not intervened. They have simply let it happen.
Then there was what appears to have been a very public instanced of domestic violence between Nigella Lawson and her husband in a very exclusive London restaurant. Nobody intervened there either.
I imagine the patrons thought it was a job for the staff and the staff were not willing to risk their jobs - and everyone thought it was none of their business.
Now I happen to think that the accident really is none of my business. Other people were dealing with it. I have helped other people when my help was needed. It was my business then.
It would be my business on public transport. Racists are cowards and need to be condemned. I hope I would have the courage to speak up if a racist incident occurred when I was travelling. I would be betraying my friends who come from other cultures and backgrounds if I did not make it clear that the behaviour was unacceptable.
And the domestic violence? I can remember years ago being in a supermarket when a man, who clearly should have been on a diet, threw several packets of chocolate covered biscuits in a trolley and shouted at his wife that he was going to have them whether she liked it or not. I can remember staring at him. He shouted at me as well, what was I doing staring at him like that?
I looked back and said,
"I think you are behaving like a two year old."
He stormed off down the aisle. I am not sure it did any good. Although his wife did thank me for saying it someone else told me I should not have got involved.
And I think that might be the problem. It seems, in the eyes of many, to be acceptable to stand and gawk but it is not acceptable to get involved. It is seen as "interfering in other people's business" but discrimination, racism, sexism and domestic violence are everyone's business - are they not?